in respect of a drug specified in Schedule I or IA of the Drug Schedules Regulation,
compound the drug,
dispense the drug, or
administer the drug by any method
The Regulation permits registered nurses to compound, dispense and administer certain medications with a client-specific order from a listed health professional. These medications are listed in Schedule I or IA of the provincial drug schedules. Schedule I medications are those requiring a prescription (e.g., antibiotics). Schedule IA medications are controlled drugs in the Controlled Prescription Program (e.g., methadone, morphine). The Regulation allows registered nurses to administer these medications by any means (e.g., orally, by injection, by intravenous, by inhalation, by instillation).
Registered nurses may, with a client-specific order from a listed health professional, administer experimental medications not yet listed in any drug schedule as part of a formal research program.
Registered nurses occasionally administer, with a client-specific order by a listed health professional, “non-marketed drugs” when needed for clients with serious or life-threatening diseases. These drugs are available through Health Canada’s Special Access Program and are used only when conventional therapies have failed, are unsuitable or are unavailable.
Registered nurses do not induce general anesthesia or give the first dose of anesthetic agents administered through a catheter.
Inducing a state of unconsciousness through the administration of anesthetic drugs is not within the scope of practice of registered nurses. Registered nurses do, however, induce procedural sedation. Although registered nurses do not give the first dose of anesthetic agents administered through a catheter, they maintain anesthetic agents being administered into the intrathecal, epidural and perineural spaces. Anesthetic agents are usually being used for pain management in these cases.